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SHSU Update For Week Of April 6


Program To Shed Light On Mixed ‘Signals’

Presenters Ben Murrie and Courtney Abbott will take a comedic look at the good, the bad and the ugly parts of relationships during “Sex Signals” on Wednesday (April 9).

The “semi-interactive, entertaining and informative” presentation will be held at 7 p.m. in the Smith-Hutson Building’s Mafrige Auditorium, according to Beth Charrier, counseling psychologist for SHSU’s Counseling Center.

“Sex Signals” provides a provocative, in-your-face look at issues surrounding dating and sex on college campuses.

Through the use of humor, the show explores how mixed messages, gender role stereotypes and unrealistic fantasies contribute to misunderstandings between the sexes, according to Charrier.

“It is a fun, entertaining way to get people to think about how we interact with one another around dating and sexual situations, how the stereotypes and assumptions we make about one another affect how we proceed in those kinds of situations, and how sometimes that makes dating/sex more complicated or difficult than need be,” she said.

“I hope students leave with a greater sense of their own personal experiences and perhaps how these same biases have informed and perhaps impaired their own interactions and start to use that to change to be more safe and respectful of one another.”

“Sex Signals” is sponsored by the SHSU Counseling Center, Student Activities department and psychology graduate student Beth Caillouet.

For more information, call 936.294.1720.


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Conference To Facilitate International Trade Discussion

Professors and economists from both North and South America will converge on the SHSU campus to discuss the Central American Free Trade Agreement and trade with Latin America during the College of Business Adminstration’s Conference on Regional Trade Agreements, Migration, and Remittances.

Organized by the economics and international business department in collaboration with the Gibson D. Lewis Center for Business Research and Economic Development, the conference will be held Saturday and Sunday (April 12-13) in the Smith-Hutson Business Building.

“Regional trade agreements, migration, and remittances are issues that have acquired new meaning and relevance for both developed and developing countries under the current wave of globalization,” said Hiranya Nath, associate economics professor and conference coordinator.

“Because of our geographic proximity to the Latin American countries, it is important that we understand these issues not only from the perspective of the U.S. economy but also from the perspective of the economies of our neighboring countries,” he said.

The event will include a keynote speech by Mauricio Cárdenas, executive director of Fedesarrollo—an independent policy-oriented research center in Bogotá, Colombia—who served as Colombia’s minister of economic development and minister of transportation in the 1990s and was named one the “Leaders of the New Millennium” by CNN/Time Magazine in 1999.

Other conference highlights include invited lectures by Pia Orrenius of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Susan Pozo of Western Michigan University, and Kamal Saggi of Southern Methodist University, who have extensive research and policy experience; a panel discussion by the Consul Generals of Mexico, Costa Rica and Colombia; and presentations from researchers from around the U.S. and from several foreign countries.

The conference is open to SHSU students and faculty and staff members.

While there is no cost to attend the event, attendees are asked to register by Monday (April 7).

For more information, or to register, visit or contact Nath at or 936.294.4760.


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Cooper To Give ‘Personal’ Lecture

Tab Cooper, general business lecturer, will discuss his life experiences and some of the things he wishes he had learned earlier in life that would have helped with his success on Wednesday (April 9) as part of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center’s “Up Close and Personal” speaker series.

"Designed to help our students and university community build mentoring relationships with our outstanding faculty," the 30-minute lunchtime presentation will be held at noon at the Farrington Pit, according to Bernice Strauss, director of academic support programs for the SAM Center.

A police officer in Texas for 20 years, 12 of which he spent with SHSU’s University Police Department, Cooper also worked as a training coordinator with the university’s Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas and facilitated the first police chief in-service training of its kind in the nation.

He became a faculty member in the College of Business Administration in 2006 and has taught classes in business communication, communication technology, business principles in an international environment and principles of management.

He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from SHSU, in criminal justice and business, respectively.

Cooper said he wants to use the lessons he’s learned throughout his career in the lecture to emphasize things that could be useful that students may not think about before they graduate.

For more information, contact Strauss at 936.294.4455 or


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Piney Woods Lecturer To Address Meaty Topic

Christine Stevens, professor of mathematics at Saint Louis University, will discuss the math behind cutting a ham sandwich on Monday (April 7).

“Ham Sandwiches and Hairy Coconuts—An Algebraic Topologist’s Feast,” part of the Piney Woods Lecture Series, will be held from 2-3 p.m. in the Lee Drain Building Room 214.

Using the “Ham Sandwich Theorem,” Stevens will explain why different factors (asymmetrical bread, unevenly cut ham) can still result in a sandwich having exactly half of the ham and each slice of bread, as well as some concepts from the branch of mathematics called topology.

A graduate of both Smith College and Harvard University, Stevens teaches everything from pre-calculus through advanced graduate courses in topology at Saint Louis Univeristy.

In addition, she has worked for Congress and the National Science Foundation and is the director of Project NExT (New Experiences in Teaching), a professional development program that has thus far helped over 1000 new mathematics faculty to launch their careers.

Following the lecture, a reception will be held on the fourth floor of the LDB that will give students the opportunity to meet and talk with Stevens.

The Piney Woods Lecture Series is funded by the Mathematical Association of America, the Tensor Foundation, the SHSU department of mathematics and statistics, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

The series is designed to “invite well-known female mathematicians to the SHSU campus to speak, and therefore provides SHSU graduate and undergraduate students exposure to well-known female mathematicians in a variety of research areas,” according to Jacqueline Jensen, assistant professor of mathematics.

For more information, call the mathematics and statistics department at 936.294.1563 or visit


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Festival To Showcase International Cultures

The International Student Organization will introduce the Bearkat and Huntsville communities to approximately 18 of the different cultures represented on the SHSU campus during its second annual International Festival on Sunday (April 13).

The event will be held from 1-6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

More than 300 international students from 18 different countries will be participating in the festival, which will include a fashion show, cultural dances and demonstrations using videos, as well as foods, beverages and games.

“The purpose of the festival is to internationalize our campus and give the international students an opportunity to share their cultures with their domestic counterparts and to bring awareness of the number of countries represented on our campus,” said Kanako Matsumura, festival marketing coordinator.

“Also we would like this festival to be a place where people from different background can interact each other and their cultures without leaving the U.S.,” she said.

The International Festival is open to all students, faculty and staff, as well as the Huntsville community.

For more information, call Matsumura at 936.662.6490.


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Rec Sports To Go All In For Poker Walk

All bets are on as SHSU students, faculty and staff walk across campus and stop by four department booths for the annual Poker Walk on Wednesday (April 9), hosted by the Department of Recreational Sports.

Participants will be ‘dealt’ in from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area.

After stops at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Initiative, Counseling Center, Student Activities, and the Office of the Vice President of Student Services booths, participants will return to the beginning, where their hands will be revealed.

Prizes will be awarded for the best hand, the “High Roller Challenge” and the “Maverick Award.”

In addition, prizes such as T-shirts, poker necklaces and goodie bags will be raffled off.

For more information, call Stacy Hazenberg at 936.294.1985.


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Legal Services To Give Students ‘A Night To Remember’

From party to conviction, the SHSU Students’ Legal Services office is hoping to give participants a night they won’t soon forget with a DWI educational seminar on Tuesday (April 8).

“A Night to Remember” will be held at 6 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

The event will feature a 35-minute film produced by the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Hays County Courts that details the accounts of a student's experience from party to arrest to jail to trial and finally conviction, driving viewers down the avenue of a DWI to see the aftermath.

The event will also include a question and answer session with a panel consisting of a criminal defense attorney, a police officer and the SHSU dean of students.

Following the seminar, free pizza, drinks, T-shirts, and games will be provided in the Kat Klub for attendees.

For more information, call Students’ Legal Services at 936.294.1717.


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Film To Max Out Topic Of Debt

The American Democracy Project will show “the movie you can’t afford to miss” with its presentation of “Maxed Out” on Saturday (April 12).

The 2006 documentary, part of the “Burning Issues Film Series,” will be shown at 7 p.m. at the Katy and E. Don Walker, Sr., Education Center.

“Maxed Out” looks at “an increasingly important issue in American society and for college students: consumer debt,” according to John Newbold, ADP film series coordinator.

Taking on America's debt crisis, author/director James D. Scurlock touches on related issues like race, corporate malfeasance and political subterfuge in a multi-media approach that incorporates statistics, news excerpts, and interviews, but “it's rarely dull,” said Kathleen C. Fennessy in an review.

“For some viewers, this will be a dispiriting documentary—three subjects recount the suicides of relatives who found their debt too much to bear—but in explaining exactly how lenders and creditors make money, ‘Maxed Out’ can help others to avoid some of their most egregious practices,” she said. “In other words, debt may be a downer, but knowledge is power.”

"Maxed Out" will also be shown at 3:30 p.m. on April 15-16 in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

All three "Burning Issues" showings are free and open to both the SHSU and Huntsville communities.

Each showing will be followed by a brief reception with punch and cookies and a discussion.

"The purpose of the 'ADP Burning Issues Film series' is to contribute to the academic and cultural life here at SHSU by bringing in films that address or relate to critical issues facing the world today," Newbold said.

For more information, contact Newbold at 936.294.1274.


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Lions Club Roars Into Existence At SHSU

SHSU Lions Club charter members
Thirty-five SHSU students became charter members of the new on-campus chapter of the Lions Club, a world-wide service organization, on March 29.

Sam Houston State University recently became the first university in the Houston district to form a chapter of Lions Club International, an organization dedicated to answering “the needs that challenge communities around the world.”

Thirty-five SHSU students officially became members of the campus chapter on March 29 during charter night.

The service organization will serve the SHSU community, participating in such events as American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk, both held annually on campus, as well as in the community with such entities as the Good Shepherd Mission, and will also work with the Huntsville chapter for special programs, according to group adviser Charles McDowell.

After the organization was approached by Helen Keller in 1925 to serve as “Knights of the Blind,” the Lions Club adopted “eye sight” as their main philanthropy.

SHSU’s chapter will do its part as “knights” by collecting eyeglasses and working with Huntsville’s school nurses to help provide eye examinations and glasses for the underprivileged, McDowell said.

Membership into the Lions Club is “by invitation,” but students interested in becoming a part of the group can attend meetings, which are held on Thursdays in the Lowman Student Center, and functions and then request an invitation.

For more information on meetings or SHSU Lions Club activities, contact chapter president Kayla Hughes at or membership Elizabeth Reagan at


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Equinox Springs New Planetarium Tour

With the Vernal Equinox officially bringing in Spring on March 20, the physics department will also switch gears from its Winter series with a tour of the “Spring Skies and Hubble Vision” on Friday (April 11).

The planetarium series program, which shows attendees which constellations, stars and planets they can expect to see in the upcoming weeks, will be held at 7 p.m. in the planetarium, located in Farrington Building Room F102.

These constellations include Gemini, Cancer, and "what I call 'galaxy country' with the constellations of Virgo, Coma Bernices, Leo and Ursa Major," said Michael Prokosch, staff aid for the physics department.

The program will also explore “all things Hubble,” from its launch, discoveries, and famous images taken, such as the Hubble Deep Field, Hubble Ultra Deep Field, the Pillars of Creation and more with “Hubble Vision,” according to Prokosch.

“The Hubble Space Telescope is expected to receive a final service mission from the space shuttle in summer of 2008 to extend its life well into the next decade,” he said. “Space will never again look the same.”

The planetarium seats up to 29 visitors and includes a dome that is approximately 18 feet in diameter and more than 20 feet high in the center.

“Essentially a time machine, the planetarium's projector can show how the night sky appears to an observer at any point in time from any place on the earth, from 100,000 years in the past, to 100,000 years into the future,” he said.

The program will last approximately one hour, and admission is free.

Other show dates for the semester include April 25, May 9 and May 23.

For more information on current show times for the planetarium or the observatory, call 936.294.3664 or e-mail Prokosch at


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Juried Show To Feature Best Of Art Department

The SHSU art department will open its studio doors to the public as art students compete for scholarships and awards during the 9th Annual Juried Student Show beginning Monday (April 7).

The exhibit will be held in the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, located in Art Building F, through May 1.

The juried show features the creativity of the art and photography students whose works, including drawings, paintings, printmaking, ceramics, sculptures and animation, were judged and selected to be a part of the exhibit, according to art department audio/visual librarian Debbie Davenport.

This year’s guest judge is Kirk Demarais, an animated e-cards creator for Dayspring, a subsidiary of Hallmark, and the author of "Life of the Party," a pictorial history book of the world's oldest prank and magic company S.S. Adams, for whom he also designs.

A reception and awards ceremony will be held on April 24, from 5-7 p.m. to announce the recipients of the numerous art scholarships, endowments and the winners of the Juried Student Exhibit.

“During the reception, the art department will open the doors to the art studios,” Davenport said. “Guest are invited to walk about the classrooms and hallways and view student artwork.”

For more information, contact the art department at 936.294.1317.


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Agriculture Students Selected For National Offices

SHSU students Amy Wilson and Jessica Pittman were recently elected national president and national secretary, respectively, of Delta Tau Alpha, a national agricultural honor society.

Wilson, a junior horticulture and crop science major from Centerville, and Pittman, a junior general agriculture major from Colmesneil, were elected by delegates during the 49th national convention at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.

Both are members of the SHSU chapter, which is the DTA’s largest with approximately 90 members.

“Amy and Jessica will work on securing new chapters and improving the national organization,” said Dwayne Pavelock, SHSU chapter DTA adviser. “Members currently receive several benefits for being accepted into the society, but the national officers know that so much more if possible.”

The primary purposes of DTA include the “promotion and recognition of high standards of scholarship, leadership, and character among agricultural students,” Pavelock said.

Membership in the organization is by invitation only and is given primarily to agriculture majors who rank in the top 30 percent of their university class.

In addition to the officer elections, Jordan Kiker, a senior agricultural mechanization major from Winnie, completed his term as national southern region vice president. Kara Saha, a junior general agricultural major from Bay City, served as the chapter’s delegate.

Members also participated in business sessions, tours and the agricultural Knowledge Bowl.


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Send Update Items Here

Information for the SHSU Update can be sent to the Office of Public Relations electronically at or to any of the media contacts listed below.

Please include the date, location and time of the event, as well as a brief description and a contact person.

All information for news stories should be sent to the office at least a week in advance to give the PR staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

For electronic access to SHSU news see the Public Relations Web page Today@Sam.


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SHSU Media Contacts: Frank Krystyniak, Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
April 4, 2008
Please send comments, corrections, news tips to

This page maintained by SHSU's Office of Public Relations
Director: Frank Krystyniak
Assistant Director: Julia May
Writer: Jennifer Gauntt
Located in the 115 Administration Building
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834